Maratha Swarajya, 1663: The dream of a kingdom of the people envisioned by Raje Shivaji, is crumbling. There are enemies to the North, and to the South. The constant attacks have ravaged the Swarajya’s armies and depleted its treasury. The Mughal Subhedar Shaistekhan, sits encamped with his occupying army in the Maratha’s ancestral city – Pune. All hope seems lost.
Merely driving Shaistekhan out of Pune is not going to be enough. To survive, Raje must replenish the Swarajya’s treasuries and rebuild its armies. A hundred kos to the North lies the city of Surat, a hell-hole of corruption and guile, but rich with gold. An attack on Surat would solve all Raje’s problems. But Surat lies deep in Mughal territory, defended by Mughal Subhedar Inayat Khan, with a garrison of five thousand trained troops.
The Swarajya’s hope of survival now depends on a seemingly impossible mission. The brunt will be borne by the Guptachar corps, led by Bahirji-Naik, and their new apprentice, Shashidhwaj, a mere boy of sixteen, using everything they know, to achieve fatteh. Can the Guptachars lead Raje’s army to Surat, negotiating such a vast stretche of hostile Mughal territory? Can they devise a way to beat the defenders of the city? Above all, can the Maratha Swarajya prevail? Or will it be destroyed like the hundreds of others who dared stand against the mighty Mughal Empire?